London: Scientists have developed a hi-tech glove capable of converting sign language into speech, a feat they say could improve the quality of life of millions in the world with speech and hearing impairments.
The "super" glove by a Ukrainian team of inventors is fitted with a complex network of sensors that recognise hand movements and translate signs, which are then converted into spoken word by a smartphone app.
The glove, called EnableTalk, has already won an award for its inventors who hope their work will help improve the quality of life of millions of people around the world with speech and hearing impairments, the Daily Mail reported.
The hi-tech glove comes complete with flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscops and accelerometers, as well as solar cells that help keep it powered. It even allows users to create and program their own signs, which the app will then recognise.
EnableTalk is still in a prototype stage, but it's already winning admirers in high places. The project was a winner at the recent Microsoft Imagine Cup in Australia, a competition to promote technical innovations.
And the team behind it is confident they'll end up with a product that will change the lives of people with speech disabilities.
"We were inspired to help our friends who are hearing - and speech-impaired to have the ability to communicate like everyone else." said team member Maxim Osika.
The inventors claimed that the hardware for their prototype did cost them just 50 pounds, meaning they would be able to offer a finished product that doesn't break the banks.